tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC May 27, 2012 4:00am-4:30am PDT
the eye of newt. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington and let me start with this. i've got newt gingrich here with me tonight and it's going to be an interesting discussion. i hope to get the former speaker to say what he really thinks, because he thinks a lot of whatever you think of his conclusions and rough politics, i stand ready to challenge him on both, he thinks at a deeper level of discussion than his opponents. unlike them he has the perspective that comes from knowing history and knowing its importance. let's get at it with the man who gave mitt romney a hard fight, who learned the hard way more
about mitt than most of us will ever learn. former speaker of the house, and presidential candidate newt gingrich. anybody who watches you knows that you are smarter than you talk sometimes and you are know politics at a deeper level and you read endlessly about the political history and write historic novels and up against guys in a debate who don't. >> that is true. >> how much does it burn you that mitt romney, a man who i am convinced, check me on this, is not deeply rooted in american political history beat you with money? >> it doesn't burn me a lot. mitt romney did what he had to do in order to become the nominee. he organized for six years. he has worked at this since his dad's campaign for president, and his mother's campaign for the u.s. senate. he has paid his dues. and he lost in '94 to teddy kennedy and came back to serve as governor and when it got to the crunch he was tough enough and smart enough to beat me in florida.
i have real respect, and you have been at this stuff in the same business, and you know, when you have somebody who is tough enough to look you in the eye, and run over you -- >> did he tell the truth about you? >> no. but he did what he had to do. >> so the end justifies the means and we get the right way that way? >> no, it is look at what obama did to hillary. these are tough fights and you know this, you have been through them. you throw the kitchen sink. he was in a situation where everything that he had done was going to disappear if i beat him in florida, and he said, two choices, throw the kitchen sink at gingrich or be a nice guy and not be the nominee. >> what burns me as a student of politics is that someone like yourself who has been studying politics, and look at what we have a history of the presidency and people like woodrow wilson who wrote "a life in washington" and people in the office who earned it in terms of the deep thought of what the office mean historically and mitt romney is not the guy.
he is a man of faith, and we will give him that, of family, give him that, of business, and give him that, but certainly not a man of history or any historical understanding of the presidency. and he does not understand what it is. he thinks it is a business tinkerer job. >> well, that is not fair. i don't think that at all. >> tell me what i have missed. >> well, first of all having served as governor is a step, but something deeper. this is a guy who has thought about this at least since his father ran in 1968. >> doing what daddy couldn't do. >> right. but he's thought about it, thought about it at a serious level. >> is that understanding the country? >> well, having collided with him head-on and the organization head-on and now working with him on the campaign -- >> right. >> he has assembled a very smart group of people. and he listens to them well. and he asks them tough questions, and he is approaching this as methodically as anybody i know. you know, back in the 1950s, sam labelle, one of the great
political scientists of all time was at election night with a whole bunch of academics who were shocked that eisenhower won over stevenson and walked around the room and not a single person in the room had voted for eisenhower, and he said, guys, this is a sign of how big the gap is in america. >> i understand that. >> okay. mitt romney is a lot like eisenhower. he is a very good organizer and methodical person and prepared to systematically do what he thinks is right for the country, and i think he might make a surprisingly good president. >> that where it gets to me, because eisenhower received the nazi surrender and won the war in europe and kept us out of the indo-china war and out of lebanon and a lot of things like the suez campaign. he kept us out of lebanon. that was it. but a man of peace, and the other guy is a guy who never saw war and talks like a hawk, and i have a problem like that. romney talks about he has been to war, but he hasn't. am i right?
>> well, the parallels are not even, but the point is that stevenson is much more eloquent than eisenhower and stevenson was much more admired by intellectuals than eisenhower and presidents come from different backgrounds. who would have guessed in 1860 that lincoln would be eloquent and as effective as he was? >> you are saying it is a long shot? >> i am saying that you don't know today and he doesn't know today exactly what kind of president he will be. but you won't agree with this, but look at obama. obama is one of the most articulate, eloquent people we have ever had and he is largely an amateur. i believe that the misunderstanding of this city i extraordinary. >> okay. that is your shot. okay. an earlier shot that you made against romney. he was not a career politician against january and during that "meet the press" debate and this is a smart comment by you. let's watch it. >> this for me, politics is not a career. for me, my career was being in business and starting a business
and making it successful and my life's passion has been my family, my faith and my country. >> can we drop a little bit of the pias baloney and the fact is that you ran in 1994 rand lost and weren't in the senate with rick santorum. you've been running for years and years and years. and now suddenly this idea that citizenship showed up in your mi mind. level with the american people that you have been running since at least the 1990s. >> you got him to laugh, because it was true. >> well, he is a failed politician and claims to be better than that. >> okay. now i have to tell you that he is probably laughing watching that, because he is now a successful politician and going to be the republican nominee. >> and his claim to be a citizen by choice and guy who stayed away from the dirtiness of politics was forced on him by defeat. >> right. it was not a volunteer after '94. >> and look at this, newt gingrich at an event down in florida. watch the next clip of you in action. i like this stuff.
>> we're not going to beat barack obama with some guy who has swiss bank accounts, cayman island accounts and owns shares of goldman sachs who closes on florida and is himself a stoke holder in fannie mae and freddie mac while he thinks that the rest of us are too stupid to put the dots together to understand what this is all about. >> so now, the obama team, maybe they are not as sharp as your team -- but they will use everything that you've said. >> here is the problem they have got, and i am surprised they used this, because it didn't work. >> well, you didn't have the resources. if you could have matched him dollar for dollar, you would have won this election and you know that. >> well, i wouldn't have won on that issue. >> in the republican party, it didn't work. >> no, it doesn't work in general. >> oh, yeah? >> watch what is happening right now. there is a reason that you the governor of massachusetts and a senator from california and -- >> they like the equity boys give them and they hang out with
those guys, because they want their support. >> corey booker, come on, leval patrick, come on. >> you are saying the only honest ethical guys are barack obama who is the number one choice -- >> no, you are the only one being honest and you had a streak of honesty saying you want some chop shop guy coming over to take over the american political system when his only claim to fame was understanding of the cost cut debt and flipping them. you said this bain capital was the bane of his existence for months and you said it rather well, better than the president. now you're saying you're wrong. >> i'm saying it doesn't work. here's the president's problem. first of all, the pre was the number one recipient of wall street money in 2008. the president was loved by everybody who he's now attacked. >> for reasons that have nothing to do with economics. >> i'm just pointing out. >> the people on wall street
never vote economic interests when they wrote for liberal. they don want regulation or high taxes. the republican guys do it because they like those deals. you know the difference. >> your position is if they're for us, they're not virtuous. >> i think a lot of people vote their interest. >> here's the problem. and it's two-fold. one, obama has set up a class warfare paradigm which people reject. and two, his performance in the economy is so bad, the president of this level of unemployment attacking business i think is just not credible. >> let me try the class warfare the other way. suppose the guy comes along, says i maid a quarter billion bucks. if you do it my way, we win. isn't that class warfare? in other words, my wealth is my case for my presidency. >> that's what george washington would have said. the fact is -- >> they were elites. >> historically what they would have said, they're interested in ending poverty by leveling up,
not leveling down. >> there was a different kind of politics. let's take a look. i don't think anything we say here is as good as what you're saying in the campaign. you describe your choice. i want you to analyze some of the signals you're sending is. these are called dog whistles. you watch. let's listen. >> if you're for paychecks you're with us. if you're for food stamps you're with barack obama. if you're for american exceptionalism, you're with us. if you are in fact in favor of a strong america in a dangerous world, you're with us. if you're for a weak america that tries to appease its enemies you're with obama. >> then you use a phrase like food stamps with all the coinage that it's got. fine, fine, i know the game you're playing. minorities. okay. do you think the average person out there has any idea who
sowalinski. what's the signal? he's for poor blacks. >> food stamps are not about poor blacks. >> that's not the signal you were sending. >> no. they're about dependency. >> oh, okay. >> it doesn't have an ethnic connotation? >> no. >> okay, fine. how come it always did until you came along. >> no, it doesn't. it never heard that. >> reagan used to do it. a woman standing in line at the safeway and sees a young buck walk by and by his liquor with his food stamps, it was the same old welfare lineage. you know that. i'm not going to get you to agree with it. >> reagan's welfare mother -- >> welfare queen. >> remember the welfare queen. >> yes. >> never once hit an ethnic --
could have been any back grounded. >> yeah, right. you're smiling. >> more whites than blacks are on food stamps. that's a fact. >> the average person has to get another shot. if i said bill ayers -- >> fair enough. >> we'll be right back. i want to talk to you about interesting stuff right now. one question i have about your party, you are a prominent republican, former speaker, why can't you lose the birther stuff? you have trump, you'll be with me him. kaufmann out in colorado, still pushing this line. there's about a dozen of these guys. why don you drop them off back the caboose and say lose it? we don't want you anymore. we'll be right back with newt gingrich who will explain why he hangs around with birthers. ale ] the inspiring story of how a shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales.
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back to "hardball" be, back to the former speaker of the house, newt gingrich. why do some people in your party, including the very wealthy, donald trump who i have mixed feelings about, which everybody does, perhaps not you. he's not stupid enough to believe this birther stuff and yet he keeps playing it. barack obama has a birth certificate, same as ours. he's clearly locally born in hawaii. why do some people in your party keep pushing he's not an american? >> beats me. >> thank you. let me ask you about the tampa convention. the way it usually works is we'll be almost gavel to gavel here. we'll be covering this thing on fox. and here at msnbc and cnn. but on the broadcast networks, which is still the standard people like to apply to, we get about an hour a night. are you going to get prime time. >> i have no idea. >> did you ask for prime time? >> i'll get whatever romney
thinks will help him win. i'm a team player. >> when you smile i see what you are. that's all right. let me ask you about the vice president. without trying to guess, i think it's important, but without guessing it, i would love it to be christie. how is he going to go about picking it? >> i think it's first of all about -- if yew looked at george w., for example, getting wyoming couldn't have been the reason he picked dick cheney. >> dick cheney pick himself, though. come on. >> that whole dance was orchestrated. >> by cheney. >> of course. >> he was in charge of picking and he pick himself. tom ridge is a good guy, of course he's not good on the values questions. of course he was against the -- you can see how he shot everybody down seeing that he'd get the job himself. >> i think they will face a
couple big decisions and you own won't know the shape of it until probably july. for example, virginia is a keystone for both tthe senate. >> does it hurt if he's catholic. >> i think it helps. given the current struggle by obama and the catholic hikarchy. if you want a guy who helps you in the industrial midwest, portman has the advantage across the whole region. >> does it hurt he was in the bush administration. >> it makes it more complicated that he was a trade representative. on the other hand, portman's really smart. i suspect he can handle being the trade representative. >> would you you go with a colorful guy like christie or rubio? >> i would look at rubio seriously. i think they will. i would look at a longer shot,
suzanne that m suzanna martinez, the governor of new mexico. >> so you're thinking he's in the running, rubbio? >> yes. at this stage i think he is. you have a question, first of all, delivering florida is a huge state. >> sure. if you had to order it right now, who do you think are the best picks for him if you were picking? >> almost anybody you just mentioned. i would look at mitch daniels and three or four other people. they have to decide a couple things. first of all, the person has to be philosophically -- capable of being president. sec, they have to be philosophically compatible which means a broadly conservative person. >> thune. >> i think john thune is extraordinarily attractive. >> i think so, too. >> articulate. you know. >> last question, animals. you and i in a different way, maybe, share a tremendous interest in animals. i think you're the only presidential candidate ever to
basically go zoo to zoo. what is that about you? and you've made kmints over the years about how men and women in combat -- women in combat are a problem because men want to go off and kill giraffes. >> that came from a course i taught. >> well, whatever it means. what are you about animals? >> i love the natural world. i love animals whether they're out in the wild, i love animals in zoos. i love -- paleontologists. >> best zoo in the country? >> oh, san diego. >> for big animals or all kind of animals? >> if you take the wild animal park and downtown park. >> favorite animal to watch? >> hard to say. maybe elephants. >> me, too. >> they're just remarkable. >> do you like the reptile house? >> yes. >> why do you like the reptile house? >> it's fascinating. they're astonishingly successful. they do it in a totally different way than they do and
they've been successful for a very long time. >> favorite snake? >> probably a python. >> why? >> big and passive. >> constrictor? you like the constrictor aspect of it. they like to eat cows whole. >> they don't eat cows whole. >> what about the block mamba? please come back if you don't sign with fox again, that would be good for you. stay independent, like notre dame. we'll be right back with the "sideshow." this is "hardball," the place for politics. ll. she's a dietitian and she suggested i try boost complete nutritional drink to help get the nutrition i was missing. now i drink it every day, and i love the great taste. [ female announcer ] boost has 26 essential vitamins and minerals,
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been an increasing buzz that mitt romney will pick a vice president who's safe, white and duller than him. [ laughter ] which pretty much narrows it down to a piece of chalk, doesn't it, really? >> back to "hardball" and that is the "side show" and we have started. first off, how florida governor rick scott just became the laughing stock of spanish tv. it started in spain to promote business opportunities in his home state. some back story here. and king juan carlos caused a firestorm when he went on an elephant trip in botswana in africa and it did not go well with citizens of the country who are struggling with the crisis. enter rick scott who met with juan carlos earlier this week. >> i've ridden elephants. i have never tried to shoot one. we're in botswana and we're in the jeep and the elephant started chasing the jeep, and my wife is in the back part of the jeep, and she wanted
to get out of the front of the jeep. >> heard of the elephant in the room? it's been all over the spanish press. mitt romney said obama's edge among hispanic voters could, quote, spell doom for republicans. it was a closed door event but nbc news caught part of it on tape. last night, mitt romney spoke at a latino coalition economic summit, a prime opportunity to address key issues for hispanic voters, right? what did he talk about? >> if every one of our small businesses added just two employees, americans could pay more mortgages and buy more groceries. president obama has decided to attack success. if unemployment was where it should be and home values were going up, there's no question but that the crisis in american education woulding the great cause of this campaign. as president i will pursue a very bold policy of change that will restore the promise of our national education system.
>> no mention whatever by romney of immigration in a speech by latinos. that's "hardball" for now. coming up next, "your business" with j.j. ramberg. combines the comfort of aircool memory foam layered on top of beautyrest pocketed coils to promote proper sleeping posture all night long. the revolutionary recharge sleep system from beautyrest... it's you, fully charged. right now, receive two free recharge pillows with the purchase of select beautyrest mattresses. with the touch of a button ?